G: Tell us about your business?
I run the arts company Hang-Up Pictures. We currently have two websites, one is for ‘street’ or ‘urban’ art called Hang-Up Urban and the other has a more contemporary focus and is named you guessed it, Hang-Up Contemporary. We represent artists, work with print publishers and also deal in artworks, mainly print editions and particularly with limited edition Banksy work. At the moment we are running the Banksy competition. You can win a Banksy print worth £2000 by guessing how many spray paint nozzles are in the jar ! More info here: http://www.hangupurban.com/win-a-banksy
G: What are the main challenges maintaining your business and how are you overcoming them?
Keeping on top of everything is pretty hard work. Hang-Up is still a relatively small company so its very hands on and time consuming. Unless you have infinite financial resources when you start a business you end up doing a bit of everything. In our case it can be anything from sourcing artworks, updating the websites, marketing, client sales, tax and vat, shipping, SEO for the website, going to openings. You name it…..it all needs to be done.
I love doing what I do though and would not change it at all so I am very lucky.
G: What would you say has been your most memorable experience while developing your business?
We did a competition back in 2008 with a lovely Agent Provocateur model named Jen Dawson . We made a shot viral film and the idea of the competition was that you had to spot and name the artworks in her flat. Those who did guess correctly were entered into a draw to win a Banksy print. I just tried to search for it now but it seems to have been taken down from most sites for ‘content violation’, which will give you some indication as to the type of video that it turned into. It was a great competition though and I am sure it’s knocking around online somewhere still.
In all seriousness though there are many memorable experiences. I was very happy when we launched Hang-Up Contemporary to run alongside Hang-Up Urban at the beginning of this year. Both websites are looking great and we are lucky to be working with so many amazingly talented artists.
G: What were the funniest moments that happened while running your business?
We are based in a 1200 Sq Ft studio on the top of a building on Leonard S. It’s a great space but with hindsight I have realized that there is a reason that there are few top floor galleries. Getting the work in and out can be hard. We do not have a lift and it’s a tight staircase. We did a show with an artist last year and had to create a makeshift winch to hoist the 2 meter canvases up on the outside of the building while everyone on Leonard St stood outside and watched. I was sure that the canvases were going to be ruined but it was all fine!
G: Tell us about DO’s and DON’Ts when running the company?
Don’t run an art gallery from studio 5 floors up. It takes a lot of trips getting artwork (or anything from that matter) in and out.
Do get out there and meet people. If possible look into renting desk space when you start out, you can rent them pretty cheaply and you will meet lots of people also launching their businesses through doing this. This type of entrepreneurial spirit is good to be around and you can all trade tips etc. The more tips you can pick up along the way the better as as its all one big learning curve. It was for me anyway.
G: Why do you choose Shoreditch to run your business?
Many reasons. I have lived in this area for over ten years so I know it pretty well and have watched it evolve. I am currently living on the Regents canal so it takes me 10 mins to walk in every morning, which I love.
The main reason I like it around here though is because there is always cool stuff going on around the area and ist constantly changing. There are lots of pop up shops, restaurants the local people in the week are great and there is a strong creative and arty feel which has to be a good thing
G: Who/what are your favorite CEOs/Businesses in Shoreditch?
There are many. First and foremost it would be:
Paul Wells who is the director over at BrandKits. The guys there are website gurus and have been doing our sites since day dot. Paul runs the company and is an amazing designer and brand builder. They are in the same building as us on Leonard St.
Kristophe and James over at Blackall Studios also on Leonard St. They are friends from old who have lots of cool little events and openings going on in their space. Kristophe co-runs also runs and organises the Moniker Art Fair.
Matt Phelps aka Funthyme on Hoxton St responsible for some of the best pop up fine dining you will ever have.
Jean Phillipe over at Bottega on Rivington for great pasta.
Design guru and epitome of cool Mr Sam Muir who runs his own design agency.
Anthony and Alex at Morph London which is a great design/branding agency
James Priestley who runs City and Arts Music Projecon the City Rd
And last but not least Mr Giles Smith who runs DJ booking agency The Secret Agency.
G: What are your favourite places in Shoreditch?
The upstairs dining room at The Fox is pretty awesome. Three Blind mice is good for a late drink and Eyre Brothers opposite us serves amazing tapas. The Shoreditch House garden is also a firm favourite for al fresco ‘working’ when the sun makes its rare London appearances.
G: What does the future has in store for Shoreditch?
Good question. In the last ten years the area has changed so much and it continues to be gentrified as the city borders approach ever closer. Hopefully it will retain its charm, its spirit and its people and not get over run with the Liverpool St suits.
You can find us on:
Website: http://www.hanguppictures.com/ ;